Human Rights Watch documents right abuses around the world with the ultimate goal of ending them and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Change doesn’t come easily, and in some cases it can be painfully slow. And it rarely comes from our efforts alone, but rather from the combined efforts of numerous groups and activists. Progress can take many forms - laws are changed, investigations launched, international pressure is applied, perpetrators brought before courts – but each is a step forward in the pursuit of justice and promotion of human rights . Here we document developments that mark progress in the many issues we work on around the world.
  • Mar 4, 2015
    Indonesia said it will stop administering “virginity tests” to female aspiring civil servants as part of its admission process. The country’s Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo announced this change—which will affect women working in government offices—on the heels of Human Rights Watch research that documented this degrading practice in the admission process for another branch of the Indonesian government, the National Police force.
  • Feb 10, 2015
    In a move that will benefit those living with HIV and AIDS in Mississippi, the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decided to overhaul the state’s federally funded program meant to provide housing to people with AIDS. This comes roughly four years after Human Rights Watch released a report that criticized Mississippi’s limited, incomplete, and disorganized operation of a program that serves as a lifeline for thousands of Mississippians living with HIV.
  • Dec 17, 2014
  • Nov 26, 2014
    Thanks to the overhaul of a Soviet-era law, Georgia’s police can no longer detain people for up to 90 days for minor offenses like traffic violations or disturbing public order at a protest – laws that authorities have used in the past to harass activists. Now, anyone taken into police custody for such a misdemeanor has the right to know the reasons for detention, choose a lawyer, alert family, and be held for no more than 15 days – all new protections. These changes largely reflect recommendations Human Rights Watch made in a 2012 report on Georgia’s flawed system of administrative – or misdemeanor – detention.
  • Nov 10, 2014
  • Nov 7, 2014

    A Malaysian appeals court ruling that a ban on cross-dressing was unconstitutional is an important victory for the rights of transgender people in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today. 

  • Oct 31, 2014
  • Oct 22, 2014
    The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include human rights protections in future host city contracts is a positive step to combat a set of serious rights violations linked to Olympics in Beijing and Sochi.
  • Oct 2, 2014
    A prominent tobacco growers’ organization announced a new child labor policy that could help protect children from dangerous work on tobacco farms in the United States.
  • Sep 29, 2014
    A court in Burundi on September 29, 2014, provisionally released the detained human rights activist, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, on medical grounds.